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The 49th Treasures of the Earth Show - Albuquerque, New Mexico

Last Updated: 6th Dec 2018

By Erin Delventhal

This is a LIVE report, keep this page loaded for live updates - new images will appear as they are added.

This weekend, I'm live at the 49th Annual Treasures of the Earth Show hosted by the Albuquerque Gem & Mineral Club. This year's theme is Pseudomorphs, which I am very excited about.

Can't go wrong with a New Mexico classic: a large Blanchard Mine linarite.
Mike Sanders at Rio Grande Explorations.

Another classic: Kelly Mine smithsonite from Jay Penn at El Chivo Viejo.

A less well-known New Mexico treasure: Picuris District aquamarine.
(Before the comments come, I would like to clarify that aquamarine is absolutely acceptable - as long as it's from New Mexico.)

Ray DeMark is set up at the club table doing mineral identification and showing off fluorescent rocks!

Meanwhile Paul Hlava is doing gemstone identification.

The New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources is here with all the books and maps you could possibly want.

Fred Bishop of (2) Guy's Rocks has a large polished slab of petrified wood from Piñon Mesa, San Juan County. This is material from my backyard - we don't have much for crystals, but we have lots of good fossils!

This is a good policy.

Jack Crawford at JaM's Rocks has some material out of a new pocket of octahedral purple fluorite with green cores from the Gila Fluorite District, Grant County, New Mexico. This is the oldest fluorite district in New Mexico.

Agate from the Baker Egg Mine, Luna Co., New Mexico.
Fred Hurd Minerals

Agate from the Baker Egg Mine, Luna Co., New Mexico.
Fred Hurd Minerals

Bob Eveleth at the New Mexico Bureau of Geology has put in an excellent case of New Mexico mining memorabilia.

The New Mexico Bureau of Geology Mineral Museum has a case of New acquisitions - some excellent new material coming into the museum as usual, but apparently some kind of sugary treats have come into the collection also.

A portion of Pat Hayne's Kelly-Noids case - an entire case of crinoids replaced by various minerals from the Kelly, all with proper scientific terms attached.

In the spirit of pseudomorphs, I've put in a new case. I would like to ask anyone who disagrees with my usage of terms here to join my very informal campaign for the standardization of pseudomorph terminology.

Ray DeMark also has a pseudomorphs case - this is predominantly New Mexico pseudomorphs, of course, but there are three that are not and a sign that says if you can find them, you win a mineral prize.

I was told too late that reading the labels was "cheating."

Mike Sanders and Ray DeMark, two of the co-owners of the Blanchard Mine have a suite of minerals from the Hansonburg District. Some of you may have seen this case at Tucson.

There are some incredible specimens in Mike & Ray's case, but of course my favorite is this extreme example of the "exfoliation" found in some of the altered Blanchard galenas.

Philip Simmons has put in a case of "New Mexico Pseudomorphs/Overgrowths and What They Replaced." Front here are some examples of langbeinite and sylvite after langbeinite from the Carlsbad Potash District.

Phil also has a recent specimen from the Cooke's Peak District that we had a good conversation about yesterday - a distinct first generation of cubic fluorite is overgrown by a second generation of octahedral fluorite in alignment with the original cube. While traditionally, "epitaxial growth" has been assigned to alignment between two different species, I think there is a fair argument here that two generations should also be considered. Either way, it's a phenomenal piece and my phone camera is not doing it any justice.

The Nims family has a very neat case of shatter cones collected on a field trip with the Georgia Mineral Society.

Tom Katonak has brought a little pebble to display - accented by a lovely quartz ps. anhydrite. The write-up on Brazilian geodes if very thorough.

Donna Ware has displayed a small portion of her collection of "rusty disties" - lots of different types of candlesticks!

Will Moats has put together a full assortment of the minerals of the Deccan Traps, India.

Fred Parker has a collection of zinc minerals - this is a great case but I do have to say I am very concerned about the Peep infestation.

The New Mexico Faceters Guild has a display of various cut gems from their members.

The Sherman Dugan Museum of Geology has an exploration of the atomic structure of minerals.

Varieties by of natural and synthetic opals!

And many geodes!

And some giant agatized corals from Alan Perryman!

The show is in full swing and a decent crowd has developed. My phone battery is protesting and I probably need to spend some time in a booth working, so I'll have to pause here for a bit, but coverage will resume!

I've escaped from the booth for another round and I found palygorskite!!

(This is a thing I get very excited about.)
Arizona Desert Ice Press.

Cerrillos turquoise ore - this area is the oldest turquoise mines in North America. The area has been mined for a thousand years or more, starting with the Anasazi and later for decorative stone for Tiffany Co. and other entities - there's a lot of history there.

Silver Day Trading Co., which currently has two active producing claims in the Cerrillos District.

Jim Williamson of Earth Works is working on some jewelry repair. I always get a kick out of seeing his machines set up to do this work on site.

The show is winding down for the day. I'm busy looking for the free-range specimens.

A very reasonable pseudocubic quartz from the Artesia area.
Aspen Mining Company

We're being told it's time to exit the building, so I guess we're exiting the building.

I'll be back tomorrow to show off all the things that aren't from New Mexico (and maybe a few more that are).

We're back at the show - there are some club tables for silent auction and lots of treasures to be found here. Rex Nelson is telling me many stories about New Mexico collecting.

Many good treasures to be found!

Southwestern Minerals Inc. has some neat gaspeite specimens.

They also have an eosphorite and cookeite from Maine!

There's a kid's corner with a U-Pik-M Rock Pile - the club supplies ~70 five gallon buckets of rocks for this every year and rarely go home with any of it.

Aspen Mining Company has a variety of Searles Lake minerals.

Chris Cowan is very excited to show me a specimen of chalcopyrite on quartz from the Groundhog Mine (collected ~1955) he's just added to his own collection. These are hard to come by.

There are fossils too, of course.

JBP Minerals has some opal geodes from Crystal Canyon, Mexico that fluoresce a lovely green.

Another fluorescent opal, but from Namibia!

Red Sky Minerals has these very interesting rocks - an unusual texture!

Sky also has these very good Imiter silver specimens - too good to be true? We had a conversation about them yesterday and he says he's checked that they are legitimate.

Self-A-Ware Minerals has some excellent tourmalines from Vietnam, Russia, and some recent finds from Himalaya Mine.

Scully's Minerals has a bit of everything from everywhere.

"Silica opal" coated grape chalcedony - I haven't seen this treatment before, but I'm glad we're not still calling them agates.

El Chivo Viejo also has flats of microminerals to hunt through.

Rock Pups has this very interesting specimen - it seems to be an albite epimorph filled later with aegirinea. A really fun Mount Malosa specimen whatever the formation is.

Some very reasonably priced and exceptional crystals of bournonite from the Viboras Mine, Peru. I am guilty of purchasing a few of these.
Doug St. Pierre.

Doug always has a selection of great stuff. I have been known to get in some trouble looking through his material.

Azurite and malachite from Khanong open pit, Laos.
Doug St. Pierre

There's also a great selection of gems and jewelry here.
High Country Gems

A 34 ct Pakistani aquamarine pendant - beautiful cut!
High Country Gems

7 ct morganite from Brazil.
High Country Gems

Sandy and Trudy Craig at Orca Gems tell me they're having an excellent show.

A close-up of a large boulder opal from Australia. Orca Gems.

We're closing down for the day again but I'll be back tomorrow for the final day of the show.

We're back for the final day of the show - I'm currently eyeing some very aesthetic Imiter leaf silver specimens from Self-A-Ware Minerals.

Today may be a bit brief so Tom can have some of the attention and so I can work a few more hours (I will work for minerals!).

Donna Ware is giving an explanation of safety lamps.

Scott Baron has some examples of Native American style jewelry. Turquoise is pretty important in this part of the world.

MELS always has a good variety of interesting things.

There's usually some good radioactives included in his stuff.

This isn't for sale, but there's an early 1900s uranium glass for story-telling purposes.

I've found another New Mexico treasure to take home: a smoky quartz from the Smokey Bear Prospect, Sierra Blanca Mountains, Lincoln County, New Mexico - arguably the most controversial quartz specimens in the world.

This is a genius idea for kid's rocks!
Sundance Silver and Stone

Sidewinder Minerals has a good variety of worldwide minerals, including this titanite from Finland.

A few nice Stephenson-Bennett Mine wulfenites in a box of New Mexico thumbnails.
Sidewinder Minerals

And a great Anarak cerussite for a great price!
There are also larger specimens here but I personally have started to lean towards collecting small - a side effect of running out of shelf space at home.

The final hour of the show - trying to get in the last socialization before breakdown occurs. Pat Haynes and Dave Wells are discussing odd collecting spots, Ed Over, and Arthur Montgomery.

The show is officially over and break down begins. A Peep war has broken out by the display cases - I've tried to argue that those displaying Peeps must eat them but that hasn't happened.

Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the show - I hope to see a few of our viewers stop by!

Article has been viewed at least 5081 times.


We need more photos, more photos.!!!

Jose Miguel Sola Fdez.
16th Mar 2018 4:52pm
Erin, nice turquoise pseudo! Where's it from?

The case of Sticking Tommys is also impressive!

Kevin Conroy
16th Mar 2018 6:41pm
Nice report Erin!
I’m glad someone broke my chain of reports

Tom Costes
16th Mar 2018 6:46pm
I recognise most, if not all, the names of the folks you've mentioned Erin!
If you happen to run into Ray DeMark, Paul Hlava, or Bob Eveleth again, tell them HI from Nathalie and I.....

Great report btw.... keep the pics a coming!

Paul Brandes
16th Mar 2018 8:00pm
Hi Erin
Nice pseudo case.
I like the Talc pseudo Ilvaite (not seen one of those before).
Not sure as I agree with the Calcite pseudo Calcite.
No Wheal coates pseudo in your case?

love the report

Keith Compton
16th Mar 2018 9:30pm
Kevin, the turquoise pseudo is a Mun. de Baviacora, Mexico specimen.

Paul, Ray says hi and I'll pass along your hello to the others as I run into them!

Keith, per conversation with Chris Mavris about the talc pseudo, I'll be taking that to NMTech for a confirmation.
If you have another suggestion about the calcite, I'd be happy to hear it, but currently all these are labeled as after calcite on mindat.
And no, no Wheal Coates pseudo, but I spent a good portion of the time designing this case remorseful that I don't have one - definitely a thing I've got an eye out for.

Erin Delventhal
17th Mar 2018 12:05am
Erin, thanks for the info on the turquoise.

For what it's worth I also have a psuedo from Naica (not nearly as hollow as yours), but when I got it I was told it was dolomite. See https://www.mindat.org/photo-809984.html

Kevin Conroy
17th Mar 2018 12:27am
Kevin, that's good to know and definitely worth considering, but I was basing the label off this specimen: https://www.mindat.org/photo-422401.html
The habit of the remaining calcite is dead on, so unless this one is mislabeled?

Erin Delventhal
17th Mar 2018 12:38am
Erin, we may have different pseudos after calcite. The exterior of mine looks different from the one in your link.

Kevin Conroy
17th Mar 2018 12:58pm
Kevin, I think so - the calcite on mine is small scalenohedral crystals, and the inside hollow is very sharp. However, there are a number of similarities too, and for both being from Naica, it raises good questions. I am not convinced the original mineral is calcite - my first question on seeing the specimen and it's label was "How?" There does seem to be a very small rind around the hollow that I haven't looked at terribly closely - some small specks of pyrite occur in that area, but perhaps it's more like a calcite ps. something ps. calcite.

Erin Delventhal
17th Mar 2018 2:33pm
Unaltered dolomite occurs there ( https://www.mindat.org/gallery.php?loc=2308&min=1304 ). I wonder if some really large crystals were the original mineral.

Kevin Conroy
17th Mar 2018 2:41pm
Kevin, in speaking to a chemist friend, dolomite is less soluble than calcite so that seems to pose a problem in itself. I think there must be some kind of rind involved and will look closer at mine when it's not in a case.

Erin Delventhal
17th Mar 2018 3:39pm
Oooh I like the anothoclase from Antarctica. Any idea how rare those are?

Tom Costes
17th Mar 2018 5:42pm
The silvers to imiter are false! old samples made by the chemist of the mine !

Remy Philippe
17th Mar 2018 6:47pm
Tom, rare enough I can't find any current listings for one for sale. That one has a very happy new home now.

Erin Delventhal
17th Mar 2018 7:51pm
I've only once heard of them before but never seen them for sale.

About that silver... I've heard that they are quite easily by heating silver ore with a torch.

Tom Costes
17th Mar 2018 9:32pm
Tom, that seems to be the general consensus on the silver. It's pretty clever really, but they definitely fall into "if it looks too good to be true"...

Erin Delventhal
17th Mar 2018 10:34pm

Even getting to Antarctica is problematic in itself and so I guess you have a relatively rare find. Well done. If I'd been at the show I'd have grabbed it too!!
Nice Bournonites too .. well done.

Keith Compton
18th Mar 2018 12:48am
Excellent report, Erin. Much better than mine :)

Jolyon & Katya Ralph
18th Mar 2018 7:56pm

Again great report, I don't know how you find the time to make such a report on a fair.
Thanks for giving me some of the attention :p


Tom Costes
18th Mar 2018 10:56pm
Great Job Erin and All who put together Show!!!

Chris Whitney-Smith
19th Mar 2018 1:19am

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